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Gasol, Randolph lead Grizzlies past Nets

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Updated 12 months ago on
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NEW YORK — Forward Jeff Green learned he had been traded from the Boston Celtics to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, then he watched his new team on television Sunday while waiting for the league office to approve the trade.

Finally cleared to join the Grizzlies Tuesday afternoon Green made his debut with his new team Wednesday and enjoyed a first-hand look at how center Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph dominate the paint.

While Green was eased into the rotation, Randolph and Gasol combined for 38 points and 22 rebounds, helping the Grizzlies dominate the paint en route to a 103-92 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, who dropped their seventh straight game.

“Seeing a first-hand view of how they establish position, it’s beautiful to watch,” Green said after scoring 10 points in 26 1/2 minutes on a night when the Grizzlies tied a season high with 66 points in the paint.

“That’s what we do,” Randolph said. “We play inside-out, that’s what we do.”

Playing in his third game following a nine-game absence due to a sore right knee, Randolph had six layups while shooting 8 of 11. He also had 14 rebounds for his 19th double-double as the Grizzlies improved to 16-3 when he gets a double-double.

“Zach was tremendous tonight,” Memphis coach Dave Joerger said. “I could be wrong, but I think at one point he had five or six rebounds in a row at either end of the floor, which is pretty impressive. We had 66 points in the paint and getting 49 shots in there — that’s how we play and that’s what’s good for us.”

Gasol nearly got his 11th double-double, finishing with 18 and eight rebounds. He made 6 of 11 shots. The Grizzlies shot 47 percent, made 33 of 49 shots inside the paint and outscored the Nets 69-47 over the final 26:52.

“That’s what they do and they have two big guys,” Brooklyn coach Lionel Hollins said. “Zach had 20 points, Marc had 18 were in the paint for both of them. They had 14 offensive rebounds with Zach having five and that’s their game.”

Added Nets guard Jarrett Jack: “They’re tough to defend. They’ve got two All-Star big guys that do a good job of establishing themselves in the paint and in the post. They’ve been playing for a long time now and certainly found a rhythm and that’s why they’re one of the best teams in the league.”

While the Grizzlies controlled the paint and led by double digits for most of the second half, the Nets remained winless since Jan. 2 and are on their longest losing streak since Feb. 3-16, 2012, when the team played home games at the Prudential Center in Newark.

Center Mason Plumlee led Brooklyn with 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting and reserve forward Mirza Teletovic added 12 points on four 3-pointers. Brooklyn committed 19 turnovers and got quiet nights from center Brook Lopez (11 points) and forward Joe Johnson (eight points).

Randolph and Gasol combined for 11 points in the third quarter when Memphis outscored the Nets 31-20 and took an 82-65 lead into the fourth. After Memphis scored the final seven points of the first half for a 51-45 lead, Randolph had a layup and Gasol had a three-point play that gave the Grizzlies a double-digit lead for good less than two minutes into the third.

Randolph and Gasol returned with 5:57 remaining when the lead was 90-77 and teamed up on the first possession.

Gasol beat Lopez for an offensive rebound and Randolph found a cutting Tony Allen for a layup that made it 92-77 with 5:36 remaining. About a minute and a half later, Gasol rolled to the basket and converted a pass from reserve guard Nick Calathes for a one-handed dunk that made it 97-82 and sent many headed to the exits.

NOTES: Wednesday marked the first time that Brooklyn coach Lionel Hollins faced the Grizzlies since his departure from the team in June 2013 following reports of strained negotiations. Hollins was more expansive about facing his former team on Tuesday than on Wednesday, when he said he was merely looking forward to it being over. Hollins also had a morning shootaround at the team’s practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J., before a home game for the first time. Hollins hinted that he might move future shootarounds to Brooklyn. “Just try something different,” Hollins said. “We’ve had some struggles lately; see if it helps.” … Memphis coach Dave Joerger was the lead assistant under Hollins in 2011-13 and said of his former boss: “I learned a ton from him. He’s very direct, he’s got a great basketball mind, makes adjustments well. He just has a good feel for the players and it’s always about what’s best for the team.” … Wednesday marked the fourth time that Grizzlies F Jeff Green opposed the Nets. He faced them in three games for the Celtics, including last Wednesday which was his final game with the team.

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